Culture The Best Live Action Animal Movies for Kids  

Stan Holton
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List Rules Only children's films that feature live animals. No movies that are only animated.

What are the best animal movies for kids? This list of great live animal movies for children includes some of the most classic, iconic movies in cinema history. Many of them, not surprisingly, rank among the best children's movies and films of all time, and several are Disney live action movies, as well. Which ones are your favorites, and which ones do you believe are the most appropriate for youngsters? Time to vote! And, by all means, if you know of an outstanding (live action) animal movie that's great for the kiddos and isn't on the list right now, add it!

Many of the greatest animal movies ever made are geared, at least in part, towards children. From the loveable, wonderful, Academy Award-winning 'Babe' to the adventures of one of the cinema's greatest pooches, Benji, live action animal movies have entertained generations of children over the decades.

Obviously, any list of the best animal movies for children must include the animals (perhaps the greatest dog movies?) From 'Beethoven' to 'Air Bud' and Disney's 'The Shaggy Dog,' these pooches gave their all with their outstanding performances, all of our entertainment.

But it isn't just the dogs who should get all the credit: Several films on this list are among the best cat movies and cat movies for kids, including 'That Darn Cat!' and the campy classic 'The Cat From Outer Space.' Cats and dogs share the screen too, in excellent kids animal movies like 'Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey,' 'The Adventures of Milo & Otis' and the aptly titled 'Cats & Dogs.' You might also like our list of dog movies for kids and Disney animal movies.

list ordered by
1
356 94
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1993
Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey is a 1993 American remake of the 1963 film The Incredible Journey, which was based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Sheila Burnford. Directed ...more
2
287 78
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1996
101 Dalmatians is a 1996 family comedy film written and produced by John Hughes and directed by Stephen Herek. It is the second adaptation of Dodie Smith's 1956 novel The Hundred and One ...more
3
298 86
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1995
Babe is a 1995 comedy-drama film, co-written and directed by Chris Noonan. It is an adaptation of Dick King-Smith's 1983 novel The Sheep-Pig, also known as Babe: The Gallant Pig in the USA, ...more
4
172 34
A Dog's Way Home is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Live Action Animal Movies for Kids
2019
A Dog's Way Home is a 2019 American family drama film directed by Charles Martin Smith, based on the book by W. Bruce Cameron. A dog (Bryce Dallas Howard) embarks on a 400-mile journey home ...more
5
225 97
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1999
Stuart Little is a 1999 American family comedy film directed by Rob Minkoff. It is loosely based on the novel of the same name by E. B. White. It combines live action and computer animation. The ...more
6
222 81
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1986
The Adventures of Milo and Otis is an Japanese adventure comedy-drama film about two animals, the titular characters, Milo and Otis. The original English version was released on June 27, 1986, ...more
7
163 63
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1996
Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco is the 1996 sequel to the 1993 film Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey. Directed by David R. Ellis, the film features the three animals from the ...more
8
171 65
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2011
Dolphin Tale is a 2011 family drama film directed by Charles Martin Smith from a screenplay by Karen Janszen and Noam Dromi and a book of the same name. It stars Nathan Gamble, Harry Connick, ...more
9
205 90
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1992
Beethoven is a 1992 family comedy film, directed by Brian Levant and starring Charles Grodin as George Newton and Bonnie Hunt as Alice Newton. The film is the first in the Beethoven film series. ...more
10
211 99
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2001
Cats & Dogs is a 2001 American-Australian action-comedy film, directed by Lawrence Guterman. The screenplay by John Requa and Glenn Ficarra centers on the relationships between cats and ...more
11
100 29
The Jungle Book is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Live Action Animal Movies for Kids
Tom Islava added
The Jungle Book is a 2016 fantasy adventure film directed and co-produced by Jon Favreau. Based on Rudyard Kipling's eponymous collective works and inspired by Walt Disney's 1967 animated film ...more
12
166 71
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1957
Old Yeller is a 1957 American family tragedy film produced by Walt Disney. It stars Tommy Kirk, Dorothy McGuire and Beverly Washburn. It is about a boy and a stray dog in Texas. It is based upon ...more
13
190 91
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1993
Free Willy is a 1993 American family drama film that was released by Warner Bros. under its Family Entertainment label. The film stars Jason James Richter as a delinquent boy who becomes ...more
14
121 45
Eight Below is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Live Action Animal Movies for Kids
Mbbk6214 added 2006
Eight Below is a 2006 American family drama adventure film directed by Frank Marshall and written by David DiGilio. It stars Paul Walker, Bruce Greenwood, Moon Bloodgood, and Jason Biggs. It was ...more
15
187 87
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1997
Air Bud is a 1997 American family comedy film that sparked the franchise centered on the real-life dog, Buddy, a Golden Retriever. The film was financially successful, grossing $4 million in its ...more
16
97 33
102 Dalmatians is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Live Action Animal Movies for Kids
celia-yahccs added 2000
102 Dalmatians is a 2000 family comedy film directed by Kevin Lima in his live action directorial debut and produced by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the sequel to the 1996 film 101 Dalmatians and ...more
17
162 76
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1994
Lassie is a 1994 adventure family film directed by Daniel Petrie and featuring the fictional collie Lassie.
18
146 71
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2004
Garfield: The Movie, or simply Garfield, is a 2004 American live-action comedy film directed by Peter Hewitt based on the Jim Davis comic strip of the same name. It stars Breckin Meyer as Jon ...more
19
121 56
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2005
Because of Winn-Dixie is a 2005 American family comedy-drama film adapted from the book of the same name by Kate DiCamillo, written by Joan Singleton, produced by Trevor Albert and directed by ...more
20
152 70
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1974
This tail-wagging tale begins as Benji visits his pals Cindy and Paul, whose father Paul Chapman, won't let them give the mutt a home. But the shaggy stray changes his mind by saving the day ...more
21
140 63
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1959
The Shaggy Dog is a black-and-white 1959 Walt Disney film about Wilby Daniels, a teenage boy who by the power of an enchanted ring of the Borgias is transformed into the title character, a ...more
22
132 71
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1998
Babe: Pig in the City is a 1998 Australian-American comedy-drama film and the sequel to the 1995 film Babe. It is co-written, produced and directed by George Miller, who co-wrote and produced ...more
23
72 25
The Incredible Journey is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Live Action Animal Movies for Kids
but chickens double d added 1963
The Incredible Journey is a 1963 live-action Walt Disney film based on the novel, The Incredible Journey, by Sheila Burnford. Narrated by Rex Allen, the film follows the adventure of three pets, ...more
24
119 53
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2009
Hotel for Dogs is a 2009 American family comedy film based on the 1971 Lois Duncan novel of the same name. The film, directed by Thor Freudenthal and adapted by Jeff Lowell, Bob Schooley, and ...more
25
106 55
Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Ki... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Live Action Animal Movies for Kids
vijayboeing747 added 2010
Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore is a 2010 family action comedy film, directed by Brad Peyton. The film stars Chris O'Donnell and Jack McBrayer. The film also stars the voices of ...more